Our biggest focus and priority is bringing clean, safe water to those who desperately need it. But we don't want to stop there. We know that the water crisis is mutli-faceted and we are working hard to address many sides of the problem. Our special initiatives are projects that we have taken on to help us tackle the water crisis in new, innovative ways.
No matter how many water wells we build and how much clean, safe water we bring to a community, the fact remains that until plumbing systems can be run to each and every hut, the women will still have to carry the water at least a small distance from the clean water well back to their homes. Bringing water wells to the center of communities helps minimize the commute time, but it is still difficult to carry a heavy jerry can of water for even 5-10 minutes.
So we want to do even more.
We are committed to doing all we can to eliminate the burden that women bear of bringing water to their homes. We are working on the design for a "Q-drum". The Q drum is a round jerry can that can be rolled along the ground instead of carried on a back. Through studies in the field in iterations by a group of pro-bono engineers, we hope that we can find a design for a jerry can that will alleviate the women's strain of carrying water each day.
Check out some photos of the Q-Drum being used in rural Ethiopia HERE
Robit Health Study
In 2011, we funded the construction of a major $100,000 borehole project in the village of Robit, Ethiopia. This massive project includes a water well drilled to a depth of 100 meters with the capacity to provide clean water to more than 6700 people each day. This is a huge undertaking and we are happy to be a part of it. But for us, it was not enough to just provide the water. We wanted to work with the community to really understand how clean water - and the lack of it - impact overall health and what community members can do to increase their quality of health for the long term.
In June 2011, Water to Thrive had a team of people who traveled to Robit to spend a week with the community members, learning how they lived, how they used water, developing statistics on water related illness, death, and other problems. The purpose of the visit was to understand the full scope of the water situationon a community that had not yet gained access to clean, safe water. Members of the team will be returning to Robit this year, now that the villagers have gained access to clean water to reassess the situation and study the differences in living quality with clean water. They will also be working with the community to develop long term habits of sanitation and hygiene so that the villagers can use their new clean, water sources to affect the greatest positive long term change on their lives.
To see more from the Robit Health Study 2011 trip, click HERE